Jesy Nelson, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Sia

Definitely Not: Jesy Nelson with Nicki Minaj, “Boyz” – “I like a bad, bad boy, you know I like a bad, bad boy,” sings former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson (you may remember her viral Jamaican accent) on her first solo single. Yes, we know or if we hadn’t, we could have predicted it. Bad boys: they are extremely popular! I think every generation needs a memory. This memory is particularly repetitive: The video- and guitar-laden song references P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy 4 Life” directly. Nicki Minaj does not refer directly to her recent controversies on her guest spot, though she does say with a wink, “I just want a bad boy like my bestie.” Cute! Anyway, Nicki Minaj is still here, in another stunning blow to cancel the culture. —Rich Juzwiak


Turn this music video into a whole movie: Justin Beiber, “Ghost” – Listen, if you were to tell me that a Justin Bieber music video starring Diane Keaton as his grieving grandmother learning to live a new life under his tutelage would be something anyone would want, under normal circumstances, I’d laugh. However, after watching the video for “Ghost”, which is uh, exactly that, I demand a full-length feature. Here’s the logline: A grieving woman’s life changes for the better when her bad boy Pop star’s grandson is forced to live with her to hide after a personal scandal, and both sides learn valuable lessons from each other about life, love, and picking the day. Call me, Hollywood. — Megan Reynolds


Speaking of Cancelled: Arca with Sia, “Born Yesterday” – Did you know that after deleting her Twitter in February after being criticized for her portrayal of an autistic character in her movie Music, and then fighting some of her critics (many of them autistic themselves), Sia is still still not returned to Twitter ? Anyway, if you missed her or her screaming vocals, here she is with avant-pop artist Arca. The first two minutes of this are a no from me, but once double the time kick drum ignites, it convinces me because I remember how well Sia can control a stomping four on the floor. —RJ


It’s Christmas in October: Darren Criss, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Under normal circumstances, this old chestnut is a reliable tear-jerker, which can bring me and anyone with a soul (?) to a short cry. However, the oeuvre of Darren Criss does not bring me to any emotion other than: “Ah, that guy?” Perhaps I hoped his soft tones would arouse sentimentality or at least make me feel something—and surprisingly, it did. I’m ready to skip Halloween and go straight into Christmas now. Only a play of this perfectly usable cover from an old standard made me long for snowfall and jackets. Is this the beginning of the seasonal depression of the fourth quarter or is it a genuine longing for the syrupy goodness of the holiday season? I don’t know, but let me listen to this privately for another half hour or so, and I bet I know the answer. —DHR

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